HYDERABAD: A study by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad has identified that the Covid-19 virus itself is not responsible for the varied level of symptoms witnessed in patients.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, CCMB Director Rakesh Mishra said that the Ribonucleic acid (RNA) of the virus did not change in the host, therefore hinting that the genome pool of the population could be one of the main reasons that a certain section of the population was asymptomatic, while the other witnesses a high mortality rate.
The institute had started a genome research on the samples of Covid-19-positive patients in the State in May. This was to study why close to 60-70 per cent of the patients in Telangana were asymptomatic, while the rest required intensive treatment. Dr Mishra had then said that the research would help understand one of the two things - was the virus different in 40 per cent of the patients, or did 60 per cent of the patients have differences in their genes when compared to the rest of the positive patients.
“After three months of research, we have ruled out the first possibility. The virus and its RNA are not changing in the host and are affecting people differently. Therefore, we are working towards finding out if the genome of the patient is the underlying reason for difference in asymptomatic and moderately symptomatic people. Having said that, we have a varied loci of gene pools and studying multiple loci will take time, so we will be able to come to an understanding in another month or so,” he said.
When asked if the research would help in the development of a vaccine or a treatment for Covid-19, he said, “I feel it would not be very helpful. It may definitely help us understand the dynamic nature of the virus, and that may be helpful in the development of a vaccine. But all of this will depend on the result of our research.”